Passing the Flame Forward: A Letter from Rachel and David

In early 2015 it was announced that we would serve as the next co-chairs of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal.  Today we announce that we are stepping down. Our term will end in… Continue reading

A Missing Friend is a Holy Clue

We all know how it feels to be sick. What I didn’t realize until recently is that what scientists call “sickness behaviors” – lethargy, self-care and social withdrawal – can have vital social… Continue reading

Shabbat, renewal, and you

A d’var Torah offered at Congregation Bet Ha’Am in Portland, Maine. Offered aloud by Rabbi Rachel; jointly written by R’ Rachel and R’ David. Welcome home. Why am I welcoming you home when you… Continue reading

Lessons learned from saying yes to a differently-abled bar mitzvah boy

“They” said “Jon” couldn’t possibly manage a bar mitzvah. Jon is a teen with physical, cognitive and emotional special needs, whose parents heard “can’t” countless times from countless people in so-called authority. “They” are… Continue reading

What’s Pure?

It’s been awhile since I heard the word “pure” except to describe olive oil and Ivory soap – maybe also mountain spring water and 24 carat gold, but not much else. What sense… Continue reading

The Healing Sound of Silence

He was hurting. He had shared with me bad news about his personal life, and now it seemed my turn to speak. The seconds of silence while he waited were pregnant, deafening, heavy… Continue reading

Your Holy Uplift

Some values are timeless, but how we express them can change over time. This week’s Torah portion (Tzav) uplifts this idea through the example of how we handle shame and guilt. What Torah… Continue reading

A Seder for Israel?

The idea of a seder (“order”), using a haggadah (a “make-telling” text) to tell a spiritual story, is wired into Jewish life. Jews call ourselves a “People of the Book,” but first we’re a “People of the… Continue reading

Smashing Success: Democracy and Discontent

“Democracy,” quipped Winston Churchill, “is the worst form of government except for all the others.” This week’s Torah portion (Ki Tisa) couldn’t agree more. While awaiting Moses’ return from atop Sinai, the people… Continue reading

Jewish Renewal, our Judaism, and parashat Terumah

Temple Beth El, Stamford CT Shabbat Terumah March 4 2017 * 6 Adar 5777 Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Josh, Matt, Stuart and the Men’s Club – thank you for your warm welcome and for… Continue reading